Writing one piece at a time?

Having just finished reading a book with so many characters, I’m starting to pay more attention to how many characters I’m introducing in my novel. There are two characters: the parents of the protagonist, who need to play an important role in the novel. So I don’t think they are extraneous at the moment, but I have the feeling that the last three pages I wrote with them included didn’t move the story forward very much. There was one important revelation and two smaller points. I think that it contributed to the plot and gives the reader deeper insight to the protagonist, but the dialogue isn’t riveting. To be frank, its pretty boring.

With all the research I’ve been doing its hard to remember where I read something, but I think it was Marian Keyes who said something along the lines of: if you are having fun writing the novel, surely your readers will have fun reading it. I am enjoying writing, not just the fact that words are actually starting to fill up quite a few pages, but I like the feeling of typing and thinking about what could happen next.

Maybe draft one is writing the plot. In draft two, I could work on further developing the characters and maybe making the writing a little more dynamic and tighter. Right now I’m sure there are lots of extraneous words, dialogues and probably even whole scenes. So before I start back tracking again and starting to fine tune, I will keep going.

Progress so far:

  • 40 pages
  • My Step 1: write the plot.
  • Planned Step 2: revise the manuscript with fine tuning the writing and working on character development. (I’m not sure if I can do this simultaneously, so the character development might become step 3).

I wonder if this is a good approach? Should novice writers concentrate on one thing at a time? Or should they work slower, but on everything at one time?

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